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Summary: Jacques Lacan entered an ongoing dialogue between psychoanalysis and Catholicism when he delivered his Discourse to Catholics (1960) to the Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis. In the 1950s, the Catholic Church under the leadership of Pius XII taught its members to be wary of psychoanalysis due to its focus on desire in the unconscious. Lacan instead argued the essential connection between ethics and desire in Freud’s work and the role of psychoanalysis in facilitating the articulation of desire. Later, in The Triumph of Religion (1974), Lacan argued religion incompletely excretes meaning to conceal problems science discovers, and the world is confronted with the Real. While psychoanalysis directs attention to the Real, “what doesn’t work in the world,” Lacan predicted religion would eventually excrete enough meaning to make psychoanalysis irrelevant. Yet the Church’s position in this dialogue has changed. Joseph Bergoglio attended psychoanalysis in the 1970s and, as Pope Francis, has sought to move the Church away from the moralism of the past, which tied ethics to behavior compliance, and towards nonjudgment which sees ethics enacted through mercy. Rather than continue to sustain concealment of the Real (as the Church has done with clergy sexual abuse), Francis wants to move the Church closer to the Real through his emphasis on people on the margins, evidence of what is not working in the world.


Summary: The first interpretation of Lacan’s ‘not all’ seems obvious: it would be the promotion of particular sentences (it remains in the hysterical discourse). Behind the formulae of sexuation, two true interpretations usually remain hidden: firstly the signifier of the barred big Other referring to a radical and universal not-knowing, secondly the consequences of it on the feminine movement and the masculine one and with the absence of any relation between them (these are two steps in the psychoanalytical discourse).


Summary: This paper explores an array of errant language experiences in relation to psychoanalysis and the unconscious, such as word play with signifiers at the end of analysis, an accident in printmaking as a source of new writing, and, with respect to the psychotic structure, visual and literary examples of the sinthome. The paper, constructed as a poetics of the human, follows the associative logics and ethics of psychoanalysis itself.

From Institution to Discourse. “Texte d’humeur”

This critical analysis of both the foundation and the organisation of the psychiatric institution, and of the way in which staff function and patients are treated, shows that unconscious mechanisms of the human psyche rule the institution in the same destructive manner as they do in the outside world. The institution is not a rational construction nor is it run by special driving forces, but rather is a place where the repetition of psychic tragedies and the drama of Eros and Thanatos prevail. Further, it functions as an overall mothering and securing structure where, when things go wrong, the fatherly repressive side takes the upper hand. And what of the rights of the patient? What kind of humanity drives the work within an institution? The author argues that the psychoanalyst plays a permanent subversive role within the institution, in order to make new effects possible, provided that the specific ethics of the psychoanalytic discourse are taken into account.

Trauma beyond the Biomedical Paradigm: Avenues for a Subject-oriented and Contextual Trauma Approach

This article provides a succinct overview of the structure and key findings of a psychoanalytically inspired theoretical doctoral thesis on psychological trauma. Starting from four core criticisms directed at the hegemonic, biomedical PTSD-model of trauma, the author makes use of the works of Jacques Lacan, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek (amongst others) to develop a trauma framework that counters the current tendency to (1) conceptualise traumatic etiology in a mechanistic fashion, (2) to individualize, (3) decontextualize and (4) depoliticize trauma. One clear conclusion is that (the success of) the PTSD-model of trauma is dependent on an implicit yet well-defined ethical position, mirroring the prevailing ethical stance in the West – beyond any strictly scientific claims. The author argues that the pitfalls of this model can be avoided by acknowledging the dimension of the Real and incorporating the notion of the act in our understanding of trauma and its treatment.